Horley Under-13s bounced back from two disappointing defeats to win their last match in the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival Under-13s Shield and finish the week ninth out of 14 teams.
The victory came against Burgess Hill and was the result of a great all-round team performance in the field.
Horley put Burgess Hill in and Alex Field struck twice in his opening spell, bowling Kyle Jones for one and trapping Alfie Lees lbw for four.
Burgess Hill number three Conor Ward was their star batter on the day, making a patient and dogged 51 from 67 balls while wickets fell regularly at the other end. None of his team-mates got into double figures as Horley’s bowlers shared the wickets with Luke Newton claiming two – his first for the club – and Leah Lane, Will Agombar, Ben Stewart, Joseph Barton and Henry Grimwood taking one each and Field claiming a third.
Joe English took a terrific diving catch off Agombar to dismiss Ward and end the Burgess Hill innings on 84 all out after 21.1 overs.
Horley knew they had a lot of overs to chase down the total but Burgess Hill had some good bowlers, so Horley took their time. Opener Evan Grimwood top-scored with 20 from 27 balls, number three Joseph Marshall made 15 not out and saw Horley home with Field, who ended up on 14 not out in the total of 86 for three from 21.3 overs.
It was good for Horley to end the week with a win, as they had been well beaten on the first two days of the festival when several of their regular players were unavailable and they had to call on the best of the talent from the club’s under-11s and 10s, as well as the under-12s who usually play in this team.
On day one, Horley faced Lindfield – who went on to be losing finalists – and were bowled out for 116 in 30.1 overs, with Harry Grimwood top-scoring with 29. Field made 12 and Luke Smith and Hugo Hobbs 11 apiece, but no one else reached double figures.
Lindfield made the reply look easy, making 119 for the loss of just one wicket (bowled by Harry Grimwood), in 18.3 overs. When Lindfield bowled out Steyning for just 17 later in the week, Horley might have felt a little better about their performance!
Horley’s second match was against Barns Green and once again they were put in to bat, this time making 115 all out from 32.2 overs. Smith top-scored with 25, Agombar made a feisty 19, Marshall 18 and Evan Grimwood 14.
Bailey Warren picked up an early wicket in the reply and Evan Grimwood removed the other opener, but Barns Green made 119 for two from 19.4 overs to win easily.
The third match was rained off, and for the last day Horley had a stronger squad available and were delighted to finish the week on a high at Burgess Hill.